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Mark Steyn

On the Town

The Boy Next Door

Hugh Martin, composer, lyricist, vocal arranger, pianist, singer, actor and the man who gave the world the great seasonal gift of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", was born one hundred years ago this week - August 11th 1914, in Birmingham, Alabama. To mark his centenary, here's an encore presentation of Mark's two-part audio tribute to Hugh first broadcast upon his death three years ago at the age of 96.

As longtime listeners will recall,Hugh Martin was a guest on The Mark Steyn Christmas Show on a couple of occasions. In this special podcast, Mark draws on those archive interviews to celebrate Hugh's many talents. In this two-part program, we'll hear "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" sung by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Twisted Sister, and from the Steyn archives we'll hear Hugh Martin's own lovely and distinctive live performance of his seasonal standard - followed by Mark and Jessica's very different take on the song (which can also be found on our full-length album, Making Spirits Bright).

In the first part of our podcast, Hugh talks about working on the Judy Garland film Meet Me In St Louis, and learning the tricks of the trade from Kay Thompson, author of Eloise; and we dust off some of his classic vocal arrangements. You can listen to Part One by clicking above. This show was first broadcast when Hugh Martin died in 2011.

To hear Part Two, simply click here.

August 9, 2014

 

The Boy Next Door part two

To mark the centenary of composer Hugh Martin, here's the second part of Mark's two-part audio tribute to the man who gave the world "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"...

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Beautiful Dolls and Only Girls

This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, the conflict that gave us the modern world - Communist Russia, the post-Ottoman Middle East, Europe's loss of civilizational confidence. The catalyst for war was the assassination of the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand, which Mark noted here a month ago. In the weeks ahead, we'll be looking at some of World War One's cultural legacy, for good or ill. As a curtain-raiser, here's an encore presentation of a SteynOnline audio special, celebrating the British Tommies' favourite ballad of the war years, "If You Were The Only Girl In The World", and its composer Nat D Ayer.

Ayer was a two-hit wonder, with an ocean between them: "If You Were The Only Girl" was his British hit; his American hit from five years earlier was known to generations of Looney Tunes viewers for most of the next century - "Oh, You Beautiful Doll". This special podcast was first broadcast to mark the 100th birthday of "Beautiful Doll" in 2011...

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Crying Uncle

American TV's Uncle Walter died at a grand old age five years ago, bringing to an end the media's obsequies for Michael Jackson...

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Life is a Cabaret

Mark talks to Kander & Ebb, writers of Cabaret and Chicago - and recalls his own small place in their oeuvre

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A Land Fit for Superheroes

...but whatever happened to non-super heroes?

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And Then There Was One...

The last of the Mamas and Papas when all the leaves are brown...

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Pajama Nights on Broadway

A SteynOnline audio special to mark the 60th birthday of The Pajama Game

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Artie Shaw: Beginning the Beguine ...and Ending It

No sooner do we release the new eBook of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade than readers start bombarding me with demands to know where the audio book is. Well, here's the nearest to an audio excerpt from the book - a salute to Artie Shaw...

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Easter Parade

An audio special in which Mark traces the story of the only Easter standard in the American songbook

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What Made Buddy Run?

Mark's centenary salute to Budd Schulberg, the Hollywood survivor who wrote What Makes Sammy Run?, On The Waterfront and Face In The Crowd...

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PAUL SIMON, LONE TEEN RANGER

In lieu of our usual Song of the Week, we present a SteynOnline audio special: Mark talks to singer-songwriter Paul Simon - including a tour of Simon's boyhood neighborhood and a live performance of his very first song

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PAUL SIMON: SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A SONG ABOUT THE MOON?

In Part Two of our audio special, Paul Simon talks to Mark about songwriting, demonstrates the original ska version of "Mother And Child Reunion", and muses on the alleged homosexual subtext of "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard"

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A Theme to a Kill

John Barry was a versatile musician of prodigious talent who in a half-century career worked in pop music, film and theatre. But, if he'd never done anything else, he'd have a claim on posterity as the man who singlehandedly created the instantly recognizable sound of big-screen spy music.

He was born 80 years ago - on November 3rd 1933, in Yorkshire, where his dad owned the local cinema. To mark what would have been his 80th birthday, here's an encore presentation of Mark's audio salute to John, and the man he musicalized for a quarter-century, the only spy with his own song catalogue, James Bond.

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